Disney has racked up another impressive cast-member for it’s live-action adaptation of the animated classic, Beauty and the Beast. Variety reports that Ian McKellen has signed on as Cogsworth, the often severe, but good-natured majorodomo of Beast’s castle. McKellen joins the excellent cast of Emma Watson as Belle, Kevin Kline as Belle’s father, Maurice, Dan Stevens as Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Josh Gad as Le Fou and Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts. Bill Condon (The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn) is directing from a script written by Evan Spiliotopoulos and rewritten by Stephen Chbosky (The Perks of Being a Wallflower).
Following the critical and box-office success of Cinderella, Disney has gone into reboot overhaul, putting the wheels into motion on live-action adaptations of Mulan, Dumbo, Winnie the Pooh and Pinocchio. However, of all the remakes on deck, Beauty and the Beast is currently the most exciting. For one, you just can’t argue with that cast. Excepting Luke Evans, who makes an unconventional, but intriguing choice for Gaston, every actor cast seems like they were born for the part. I can’t wait to see how they handle the anthropomorphized characters, like Cogsworth, who stole the show in the original animated film. The cast is almost entirely locked down at this point, with Lumiere as the one last stand-out role to be filled. No doubt we’ll have word on that soon, as production is slated to begin in a matter of weeks for a March 17, 2017 release.